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Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD
Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD

R. L. Pinely
R. L. Pinely

Books by Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD
and R. L. Pinely

Straight Spouses from Trauma to Transformation

by Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD
and R. L. Pinely


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Unseen-Unheard: Straight Spouses from Trauma to Transformation

When presumably heterosexual spouses turn out to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, the unexpected revelation overshadows its devastating impact on their straight wives and husbands. Unseen-Unheard opens the window on their remarkable journeys from trauma to transformation.

What would you do if your husband said he'd fallen in love with a man or thinks he might be gay or bisexual, or you discovered your wife's texts, photos, or emails indicating she has a female lover and wonders if she might be lesbian or bisexual? Well, this happens, a shattering reality that at least two million men and women have faced and tried to understand and accept, even as we were unseen and our voices unheard.

Who are we? We are husbands and wives left behind when our spouses came out or after we discovered they were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Shocked and paralyzed, swirling in the devastating wake of our beloveds' revelation, we had to pick up unrecognizable pieces of our former lives and try to reconfigure them without much outside support, recognition, or understanding of the depth of the crisis. Yes, straight spouses typically cope alone with unique issues of sexuality, betrayal, and broken belief systems. Slowly, we redefine ourselves, create new lives, affirm the joy of living, and reap life's infinite possibilities.

We invite you to walk with us and experience our journey from the first desperate cries of discovery or disclosure to insights and wisdom gained as we resolve our issues and transform our lives. As you observe and listen, we hope you will embrace the courage, creativity, and resilience of our strength, which we didn't know we had, yet was so powerful that lifelong habits were broken and we uniquely and marvelously became who we were meant to be.

Praise received for Unseen-Unheard

“An eye-opening and sometimes heart-wrenching account of ‘mixed-orientation marriages.’ Amity P. Buxton, R. L. Pinely, and the many contributors from the Straight Spouse Network who shared their personal stories of tragedy and triumph are to be congratulated for offering some glimpses of hope and light to those facing similar struggles.”
- Jack Drescher, MD, Author, Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man,
Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute

About the Authors

Amity Pierce Buxton, her Ph.D. from Columbia University, has taught grades pre-school through graduate school. Member of the American Psychological Association, she serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Bisexuality and the Journal of GLBT Family Studies and on the board of the Catholic Association for Gay and Lesbian Ministry. She wrote The Other Side of the Closet: the Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families and founded the worldwide Straight Spouse Network. Currently, she counsels spouses and couples, conducts research, writes articles and chapters, lectures, and gives workshops on all aspects of the impact of a spouse's coming out in a mixed-orientation or transgender/non-transgender marriage.

R. L. Pinely writes, "Collaborating with Amity to write this book has been an amazing journey. Absorbing her expertise has been a rare privilege as we lived vicariously through the lives of others and walked in their shoes. As owner of an online support group, I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity every day to pass along her wisdom, insight, experience, and understanding to nearly 3,000 women."

Click here to view the Straight Spouse Network web site

Click here to view the YouTube promo video for Unseen-Unheard

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